FAQs

General

Q: How can I attach and detach Elastic Graphics accelerators to my Amazon EC2 instances?

Elastic Graphics accelerators can be attached to EC2 instances at creation. You can specify the size of Elastic Graphics accelerators through EC2 Console, AWS SDK and CLI. Elastic Graphics accelerators are detached when you terminate your EC2 instances.

Q: Which instance types and sizes are supported by Elastic Graphics?

Elastic Graphics supports a wide range of current generation EC2 instances, including M5, M5d, M4, M3, T3 (t3.medium or larger), T2 (t2.medium or larger), C5, C5d, C4, C3, z1d, R5, R5d, R4, R3, X1e, X1, H1, I3, D2, P3, and P2.

Q: Which operating system do you support?

Elastic Graphics supports Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016.

Q: Can I reserve capacity for Elastic Graphics accelerators?

No, Elastic Graphics accelerators can only be provisioned as on-demand.

Q: How does my EC2 instances communicate with the attached Elastic Graphics accelerators?

Elastic Graphics accelerators leverage the same bandwidth as instance network traffic. The channel is set up using an elastic network interface (ENI) created in your VPC called the Elastic Graphics endpoint.

Q. Do I need a driver for Elastic Graphics?

You need to install Elastic Graphics driver in your instance. However the driver is not a device driver. Instead, it is an Amazon-optimized OpenGL library that detects the presence of and connects to the attached Elastic Graphics accelerator. When applications make OpenGL API calls for 3D operations, the Amazon OpenGL library re-directs those calls to the Elastic Graphics accelerator over the network, where the operations are processed and results are returned back to the library. Amazon EC2 manages the physical hardware, graphics device drivers, and the transportation of commands to and from your EC2 instance. Elastic Graphics infrastructure is accessed through a network endpoint within an attached instance’s VPC, and OpenGL command traffic and results are transmitted using the instance’s provisioned networking capacity.

Q: Can I see Elastic Graphics accelerators in my device manager?

No, there is no additional device for Elastic Graphics accelerators in your device manager.

Q: Can I attach multiple Elastic Graphics accelerators to a single instance, or attach the same Elastic Graphics accelerator to multiple instances?

No, you can only attach one Elastic Graphics accelerator to one EC2 instance.

Q: Can I attach/detach Elastic Graphics accelerators while the instance is running?

No, Elastic Graphics accelerators can only be attached at instance creation and detached at instance termination.

Q: Can I attach an on-premise machine to Elastic Graphics accelerators?

No, Elastic Graphics accelerators can only be attached to EC2 instances.

Q: Can an instance start or launch fail because of Elastic Graphics accelerators?

If Elastic Graphics accelerator capacity cannot be acquired due to insufficient capacity, an insufficient capacity error message is presented to you and the instance launch or start will fail. If the subnet presented has less IPs available than is required to launch all of the requested instances plus create the Elastic Graphics endpoint, then you are presented with an exception with some additional information detailing that an extra IP is required for first launch with an Elastic Graphics accelerator into an Availability Zone for this VPC.

Q: How do I know if Elastic Graphics accelerators, including whether necessary libraries are correctly installed, from within the instance?

You can click on the Elastic Graphics icon in the notification area of your taskbar and see whether the Elastic Graphics driver is installed correctly and Elastic Graphics accelerator is functioning properly. If everything is working properly, the Elastic Graphics UI will show healthy status. You need to re-install the Elastic Graphics driver if the Elastic Graphics icon is missing.

Q: Which applications does AWS certify to work with Elastic Graphics?

AWS does not offer application certification on behalf of the software vendors. However we provide a Graphics Certification Program to ISVs so that they can certify their applications on AWS.

Q: What desktop streaming protocols do Elastic Graphics support?

Elastic Graphics can be used in conjunction with many desktop streaming protocols, such as NICE DCV, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), and Virtual Network Computing (VNC).

Q: Can I run a single application at a time or does Elastic Graphics supports multiple applications running at the same time?

Elastic Graphics does not impose any restriction on the number of applications running at the same time.

Q: My application is reporting the system has 0 MB of graphics memory, why?

If you are using Microsoft Basic Display Adaptor, your graphics memory query will return 0MB. However, you will still be able to use the graphics memory provided by Elastic Graphics through OpenGL API calls.

Performance

Q: What factors can affect the performance of Elastic Graphics accelerators?

There are many factors that may affect the performance of Elastic Graphics accelerators. This includes the available network bandwidth to your EC2 instance, the complexity of your 3D models, and the size of your OpenGL context.

Q: What are the metrics I can get from Elastic Graphics accelerators?

You can get graphics memory usage metrics of Elastic Graphics accelerators through CloudWatch.

Networking

Q: Can I attach Elastic Graphics accelerators to EC2 instances without VPCs?

No, Elastic Graphics accelerators can only be attached to EC2 instances within a VPC.

Q: Do Elastic Graphics accelerators consume network bandwidth of my EC2 instances?

Yes, the communication channel between Elastic Graphics accelerators and an EC2 instance is through an elastic network interface. All bandwidth consumed by that elastic network interface is counted towards the EC2 instance bandwidth limit.

Q: How can I manage the Elastic Graphics endpoint used by Elastic Graphics?

The Elastic Graphics endpoint is an elastic network interface associated with your Elastic Graphics accelerator. You can manage the security group associated to the elastic network interface in the same way as you would for other elastic network interfaces. However you are not able to detach the elastic network interface from the EC2 instance it is attached to.

Q: What is the security group requirement of Elastic Graphics?

In order to let the network traffic flow between your EC2 instance and the Elastic Graphics accelerator it is attached to, the security group associated with the Elastic Graphics elastic network interface should allow all TCP outbound traffic on port 2007.

Q: Which kind of data is transferred on the network?

We transfer OpenGL commands from your EC2 instances to Elastic Graphics accelerators and rendered frames from Elastic Graphics accelerators to EC2 instances. There are also some control information being transferred between your EC2 instances and Elastic Graphics accelerators. However all data transferred never leaves your VPC.

Q: What network latency is guaranteed between the Windows instance and the Elastic Graphics accelerator?

Elastic Graphics accelerators are subject to the same latency of the AWS network.

Billing and Metering

Q: What is the lifecycle of an Elastic Graphics accelerator and how will I be billed?

Elastic Graphics accelerators are billed for by the hour, and the Elastic Graphics accelerator lifecycle mirrors the lifecycle of the instance it is attached to.

  • Pending - When you launch an instance and Elastic Graphics accelerator, the Elastic Graphics accelerator enters the pending state. While in the pending state, Amazon EC2 finds Elastic Graphics accelerator capacity and establishes a channel between your instance and the Elastic Graphics accelerator. You are not billed for time spent in the pending state.
  • Running - After the instance and Elastic Graphics accelerator are both ready for you, the Elastic Graphics accelerator enters the running state. As soon as your instance transitions to the running state, the instance is healthy. You are billed for Elastic Graphics accelerators for each hour or partial hour that you keep the instance running, if your Elastic Graphics accelerators are in healthy state.
  • Stopping and stopped - When you stop your instance (EBS backed instances only) with an Elastic Graphics accelerator attached, the instance enters the stopping state and similarly, your Elastic Graphics accelerator enters a stopped state. We don't charge for Elastic Graphics accelerators that are stopped.
  • Shutting-down and terminated - When you terminate the instance, as soon as the instance status changes to shutting-down or terminated, you stop incurring charges for that instance and the Elastic Graphics accelerator.

Q: Will I get billed when my Elastic Graphics accelerators are impaired?

No, your Elastic Graphics accelerators will only get billed if they are in healthy state.

Q: Do I pay for the network bandwidth used by Elastic Graphics accelerators?

No. Given the Elastic Graphics accelerator and its associated EC2 instance are in the same Availability Zone, network transfer between Elastic Graphics accelerators and EC2 instances is free.

Q: Do your prices include taxes?

Except as otherwise noted, our prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax. If you have a Japanese billing address, use of AWS services is subject to Japanese Consumption Tax. Learn more.

API Support

Q: Which graphics API does Elastic Graphics support?

Elastic Graphics supports OpenGL 4.3.

Q: Which OpenGL shader language version does Elastic Graphics support?

Elastic Graphics supports GLSL 4.30.

Q: As an OpenGL developer, how can I detect that my application is running on an Elastic Graphics accelerator implementation?

You are able to use an OpenGL API to detect the presence of an Elastic Graphics accelerator.